It’s that time of year again: warmer weather, fresh blooms, rain showers, and...spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is an age-old annual tradition that shakes people from their winter hibernation and into the productive mode of disinfecting the fridge, washing the drapes, and organizing the bookshelves. Besides being an almost ritual, spring cleaning serves many benefits and purposes, including raising an important question for older adults: is it time to downsize? While doing their annual cleaning, some adults may realize that they’re deep cleaning a room that hasn’t even been used since last year or they simply don’t have enough energy to move the couch and vacuum underneath.
The goods news is that whether you’re ready to downsize immediately or want to wait a few more years, spring cleaning provides an excellent opportunity to prepare for the transition. With senior living communities throughout Colorado, Oklahoma, and Nevada, WellAge Senior Living is communicating the benefits of spring cleaning and sharing some tips for downsizingthat you can incorporate into your cleaning.
Benefits of Spring Cleaning
Yes, it’s nice to look at a neat and tidy space, but did you know that cleaning can help manage stress and anxiety? There is evidence that clutter is linked with negative emotions. By taking the time to clean and declutter, you’re controlling what you can and allowing yourself to relax in a comfortable, tidy space that you enjoy.
Furthermore, the physical act of cleaning itself has been shown to occupy the mind and reduce feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
No More Sneezing
Keeping your home clean—especially at the beginning of spring when pollens and dust are extensive—can support the immune system and clear the airways of those who suffer from seasonal allergies. To rid your home of these allergens, vacuum and dust often and deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen to remove any mold.
Turn a Clean Slate
When you get productive and form good habits in one area of your life, it permeates through to other parts of your life. By taking the time to clean and declutter this spring, you may feel more motivated to improve your eating, sleeping, and exercise habits, as well. According to a study by the University of Minnesota, when people are in a cleaner setting, they tend to choose healthier food options.
Spring cleaning doesn’t necessarily have to mean just cleaning your house. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, so why not switch up other areas of your life as well?
Downsizing Tips While You Spring Clean
As you’re crossing off your cleaning checklist, adding a few extra tasks can help you with downsizing, as well. If you’re planning on downsizing this year, next year, or still aren’t even sure if you want to downsize at all, taking the time to scale down and declutter can make the process much less overwhelming when the time does come. Here are some downsizing tips to supplement your spring cleaning process.
Say No to Duplicates
Most people will find this particularly evident in the kitchen. Do you have two can openers, three spatulas, and so many coffee mugs it’s borderline embarrassing? Spring cleaning is the time to sift through all these items and decide what you truly need. Of course, you can keep all your favorite mugs, but maybe it’s time to part with the one you got when you ran that 5K fifteen years ago.
Pass It On
Do you have an antique china cabinet full of family heirlooms that never get used? Do you have a chest of crocheted blankets and vintage clothing? You don’t want to get rid of these treasured family items, but it could be time to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or other family members who are starting to have homes and families of their own. They may have a better appreciation for these items, and you can get them out of your way.
Use Boxes Effectively
Boxes can help with downsizing and decluttering, but only if you use them the right way. In each room, have one container for trash and one for donate/sell—that’s it. People will often get tempted to start a “maybe” box, with things that they “might use one day” or will “keep if there ends up being space.” If you do this, everything will be going in your “maybe” box before you know it!
As hard as it is, every item needs to be labeled either keep or not keep. A good rule of thumb is if you use the thing regularly, keep it. If you haven’t used it in the past year, it’s time to say goodbye.
Enjoy the Process
Spring cleaning and downsizing can be overwhelming and intimidating, but remember, it’s a process. You don’t have to scrub down and sort through everything in your house on the first warm day of the year. Take your time to clean, organize, and honestly consider whether downsizing could be a good option for you. And don’t forget to have fun!
WellAge Senior Living’s communities are the ideal solution for older adults looking to downsize and enhance their retirement years. With communities throughout Colorado, Nevada, and Oklahoma, we encourage adults to Live Well and Age Well. To learn more about our beautiful communities, visit our website!